Russian President Vladimir Putin has decreed to naturalize a Russian soldier who does military service in Tajikistan. Oleg Kozlov, a warrant officer of the 201st Division stationed in Tajikistan, addressed the president on December 19th, during Putin's live appearance on TV, complaining that he wanted to be naturalized in the Russian Federation and could not. The president promised to solve the problem within a week.
The president's decree also granted Russian citizenship to Kozlov's family.
According to unofficial data, about 2,000 Russian soldiers doing service in countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States are still not naturalized. The problem arose after the disintegration of the former USSR. Back then, the authorities of the newly independent countries began issuing passport inserts mentioning the person's citizenship. The military, however, received no inserts since their passports were taken away from them for the time of their service.
In the meantime, Viktor Ivanov, the deputy head of the presidential administration, announced that the naturalization problem would be solved in no time. Naturalization was indeed the centerpiece of attention during a Tuesday session of the presidential Citizenship Commission.
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